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Amazon, Flipkart may have to pay steep fines for failure of sellers to publish country of origin

According to govt officials, since etailers are the facilitators, they will be held responsible. ‘The fine can start from Rs 25,000 for the first offence. It can get extended for multiple offences. There is no immediate clarity whether there will be a cap on the fine.

November 12, 2020 / 10:51 PM IST

Etailers such as Amazon and Flipkart will be held liable and can be fined if sellers on their platforms do not publish the country of origin on their products, according to a senior government official.

"When you (etailers) allow sellers (to sell)..., do not allow them to violate the law. You will be held liable because you are the facilitator," the official told Moneycontrol on condition of anonymity.

According to him, companies are liable to pay a fine starting from Rs 25,000 for the first offence. It can get extended for multiple offences. There was no immediate clarity if there will be a cap on fine. Currently, just 70 percent of the listings available on the two ecommerce companies comply with this rule.

Last month, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs had sent the two etailers notices for not displaying the country of origin on products sold on their websites. The ministry had asked them to explain the reason within 15 days, failing which action would be initiated against them as per the provisions of the Legal Metrology Rules, 2011.